Sheriff Mincks talks human trafficking

Washington County Sheriff Larry Mincks. (Photo Provided)

PARKERSBURG — “Human trafficking in Wood and Washington counties is not a topic that you hear much about locally, but it has been in the national news lately,” Washington County Sheriff Larry Mincks said.

Human trafficking started a long time ago when the slave industry was brought into our country, Mincks told the Fraternal Order of Police Associates, Blennerhassett Lodge No. 3 at its recent meeting. According to Mincks, human trafficking got started in the United States.

Mincks said in every industry, there is a supply side and a demand side. Mexico provides much of the supply side for the illegal drug industry, he said.

The Mid-Ohio Valley provides some of the demand side with addicts needing their drug fixes, Mincks said. We must find a way to stop the flow of drugs into this country, he said.

People enter the United States illegally with drugs in their possession, Mincks told the organization. These illegal immigrants enter this country with the assistance of a “coyote.”

In turn, these illegal immigrants pay the “coyote” a fee, usually $3,000 to $5,000, for smuggling them into this country, Mincks said.

Using a “pay as you go” plan, these illegal immigrants pay the “coyote” from the wages they earn in this country from menial jobs in restaurants or as farm workers, Mincks said. The “coyotes” are aware of the earnings of the illegal immigrants and collect from them as they earn their money, he said.

Some of the illegal immigrants do manage to send money back to their families in their home country, Mincks said.

When asked what our society needs to do to stop the drug problem, Mincks said, “We need to get mom, dad and the kids back to the supper table together every day. To get to the heart of the problem, we need to stop the addiction and start this at an early age.”

Mincks has been sheriff since 2005. He is the director of the Southeast Region Buckeye State Sheriff’s Association.

Mincks said he has developed a high level of skill in interpersonal communication and cooperation with the public and other law enforcement agencies during his years of law enforcement. In various levels of federal, state and local government, he has supervised and investigated crimes involving income tax evasion, health care fraud, money laundering, embezzlement, arson, narcotics, public corruption, extortion, gambling, auto larceny, fencing, prostitution, domestic violence, burglary, murder, human trafficking and rape, Mincks said.

Mincks is a graduate of Marietta College with a Bachelor of Arts in Accounting, Magna Cum Laude; Ohio State Highway Patrol Academy; Federal Law Enforcement Training Center; U.S. Air Force Intelligence-Crypto Analysis Training, and the Ohio Peace Officer Training Academy.